Why the Fuss About Charlotte Tilbury Creams?

With the growing popularity of Charlotte Tilbury products I noticed over the course of last year everywhere I turned I would see them mentioned whether in an advert or a promotion.  There were staff in store beauty departments in London’s West End spraying copious amounts of the “New” fragrance onto passers by.  The promoters really did go to town making sure the products where almost everywhere.

I wanted to know what all the fuss was about.

Are they Really that Good?

Having looked around the internet at various reviews it seems that people are pretty impressed by the products.  I had a small free sachet sample of the day, night and eye cream sent through the post and here are my initial reactions to the products.

Magic Cream

CTcream1

Although the sample size wasn’t very large I did get a good idea of the absorbency level and also the texture of the products and how they felt on the skin.  The Magic cream absorbed well and after application my face was left feeling silky soft without any dry patches.  The moisturiser is not too rich and did not leave a coating on the surface of the face or the hands.  It is a great base for make up and holds foundation, concealer and powder well on the skin.  The aroma was pleasant and not at all overpowering.

The cream itself contains a range of ingredients including plant based and is paraben free.  It claims to increase collagen production and also contains SPF15 and a UVA filter to help fight the ageing effects of sun (did you know chocolate can help prevent against some forms of sun damage?).

Magic Night Cream

CTcream3

The texture of the night cream was far richer and heavier than either of the other two sample creams that I tried.  It was similar to a vaseline like consistency and it left my hands and face feeling greasy to the touch.  It took a little while for this to be absorbed into the skin.  The cream had left the skin on my face and hands feeling silky soft in the morning and that thickness of cream consistency for me wasn’t an issue although I do know that some people don’t like the feel of this sort of cream texture on their skin.  The cream ingredients are well thought out as in the other products featured here and really are a good recipe for great looking skin.

Magic Eye Rescue

CTcream2

This too absorbed well into the skin well and leaves the skin feeling soft and moisturised.  The formula is slightly thicker and heavier than the Magic Cream but not as thick as the Magic Night Cream.  I thought the thickness of the cream was good as the skin around the eye area tends to need that extra little help.  This takes a little longer to soak than the day cream in due to the consistency but soaks into the skin all the same and makes a great basis for foundation and concealer if you are trying to hide dark circles.

This comprises of a range of natural ingredients and is said to be an “anti-ageing rescue remedy that works to slow down the ticking time bomb of ageing” on the Charlotte Tilbury website.  Studies have shown an improvement within 8 weeks of trials but having used this for just a few days I unfortunately cannot confirm this although with my skin being as receptive to these sorts of products as it is I am sure it would show an improvement sooner than that length of time.

The products seemed pretty good from initial assessment and my skin did not react to any of them.  I did have a healthy glow to my skin although that could also have been due to the fact I had been exercising and drinking lots of water.

If you want to buy all three you are looking at an investment of £215.  Don’t forget anything that will actually help give you a younger looking healthy skin is an investment for your future appearance and starting early will be something you are thankful for as the signs of ageing slowly appear or begin to wave manically at everyone as they progress.  The set can be found with a saving of £15 from the individual product size on the Charlotte Tilbury site which is good to know.  I appreciate for some this is still a bit steep so if you really want to try something from the range I would suggest going for the Magic Cream (day) at £70 and see how you go.  Even if you are not using all three products if the products do what they claim to then there should still be a marked improvement with continued use for two to three months.

Have you tried the Charlotte Tilbury creams before?

This is NOT a sponsored post.

 

Blogging Goals for 2017

blog1

This is my first post of 2017 so I would like to begin by wishing you all a Happy new Year.

Now it’s that time again that we are all making resolutions and setting goals for the year.  I have been thinking about what my goals would be for 2017 in relation to the blog.  My goodness there is so much I could write in this post but whether I would be able to achieve everything would be questionable due to time constraints.  Instead of writing a long winded post I though the best things to do was sum up my main goals for the year to give me something achievable to work too as I of course need to also allow for time with my lovely little family, friends, cooking, unforeseen circumstances, school shows, sleeping – I stayed up until all hours to complete blog posts in 2016 so need to learn to turn off the computer, and other things that may arise in my daily life.

One of my aims is to increase my daily views of the blog by bringing you all great content on a variety of subjects including recipes, fashion (adult’s and children’s), restaurant reviews, toy reviews, health and beauty posts and more.  I also hope to add some more great competitions as we all love these.

I would also love to increase the range of companies that I work with to bring you news about great new products (new to my blog at least).

I am also hoping to include guest posts from other bloggers as well as write guest posts myself where appropriate and haven’t really done anything like this so I’m not sure how it will work just yet.

I am looking forward to eating my way around more London Restaurants and tell you all about them or at least the good ones anyway.

I have been working on my photography but still want to improve this further.

I want to try and do video reviews on a more regular basis.

With these in mind and an inbox filling up with some interesting collaboration requests it’s set to be a fun and busy year.

Have you set yourself goals for 2017?

Want to receive Melanie’s Fab Finds posts once they are live?  Why not subscribe to get all first access to all my recipes,reviews, competitions etc. I write about a range of topics and also host competitions so please do subscribe to have them delivered straight to your inbox. Don’t worry I won’t spam you.

https://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=MelaniesFabFinds&loc=en_US

Feel free to leave a comment I try to respond to as many as possible.

Melanie x

Mummy B #BlogTipsNTricks Linky

Did you Cut your Spending this Christmas?

I have been reading all sorts of articles over the Christmas period from those about gift ideas for various members of the family, great party food ideas and more.  Some of these were found online and some I found in my inbox.  One that caught my interest covered spending over the Christmas season.

hi2

An online voucher company recently did a survey and discovered that 42% of those asked have tried to save money this Christmas.  It’s not surprising Christmas is an expensive time of year and it’s hard especially when you have little ones not to feel that you should get them the latest toy that they really want and have been on about for the last month and a half.  With our desire to make Christmas as special and magical a time as possible for children and loved ones some really do get a little spend happy it’s easy to get swept up in the Christmas buying frenzy that seems to happen and sometimes we might swipe the plastic a little too much it’s easily done as by not physically handling cash it can make you a little less aware of what you are spending resulting in quite a few cases in accounts being overdrawn as we venture into the cold January months.  I wrote a post in November titled ‘Save this Christmas and Enjoy a Happy New Year’ which I hope some of you managed to read and this gave some great tips on how you could save money for this Christmas as well as begin working on saving money for the next.

The company that carried out the survey that caught my attention was none other than My Voucher Codes which I frequently use and you can see the full survey ‘here‘.  The great thing about this particular company is that savings are not merely restricted to Christmas time although saving money at this expensive time of year is of course great.  These guys like many other voucher services allow you to save money on a whole array of products /  services from holidays, dining out, shopping for clothes, jewellery, beauty products, the list goes on.  I will be using vouchers to help save me money over the year and might even buy a few Christmas gifts on the way to reduce the load for next Christmas.  I’m quite excited to see they link to the offers on the buyagift page where I plan on making the most of discounts and go on a few of the experiences yet again.  The gift and occasion page is one to keep an eye on for those needing gifts over the year or want to get their Christmas shopping for the coming year finished early.  At the moment many of the stores they list are offering up to 50% off so if you want to grab some bargains why not go take a look.

voucher6

Have fun shopping x

Do you use money saving voucher sites like these and which do you use?

Introducing EvoShave

Shaving isn’t always a fun or easy part of any man’s or woman’s beauty regime but unfortunately for many it is a necessity.  There are numerous types of razors on the market many are large and bulky others are dainty and easily broken.  For those that shave regularly I am sure you would appreciate the latest product that I have discovered.

Have you heard of the award winning and innovative shaving system EvoShave that makes shaving easier and gives a lovely smooth finish?

I will admit I hadn’t until recently but I have just been introduced to EvoShave who have a handy new razor system that can give great shaving results.  The system allows for a very close shave as you can control it at very close contact directly with your fingers.

razor6

The razors are nice and sharp so make sure on your first few shaves you don’t press too hard!  This is extremely easy to use and comes with one razor blade.  To use it simply glide (shave), rinse and repeat.  The results speak for themselves leaving the skin exceptionally smooth and very importantly hair doesn’t get stuck in the razor blade clogging it up.  My husbands face is kissably smooth after using one and I thankfully don’t get stabbed by stubble.

razor5
Made using the latest blade technology in the UK and Germany this razor comes in 3 different colours; blue green and black and is targeted as an item for men although ladies you will want one too as it’s great for shave legs, it’s far better than your average razor that’s for sure.

The product itself is relatively inexpensive with the handle costing only £4.99 and comes with a blade.  A pack of four blades costs £5.99 and a pack of eight blades will set you back £9.99.  Great news for us as we tend to like to buy in bulk in our household.

razor7

Doesn’t the razor look great!

I’m sure you would all love to get your hands on one and just like your Fairy Godmother I am about to make one lucky readers wish come true and give away one of these fab razors in my latest competition.  In addition the winner will also get a pack of four blades and a Luxury Hotel Chocolate Gift Box.

So what are you waiting for get entering!!!

razor4

Please make sure you read the terms and conditions before entering:

T’s & C’s

  • Entrants must be 18 years +

One winner will receive a EvoShave razor, one pack of four blades & one Luxury Hotel Chocolate Gift Box.

UK entry only.

The winner must be following @MelanieMse and @EvoShave on twitter and must have retweeted the competition tweet.

The prize will be delivered to the winner within approximately 28 days of confirmation of their delivery address.

There is no cash alternative to Prizes which are subject to availability, non-transferable, non-negotiable and non-refundable. Prizes may not be sold, offered for sale or used in connection with any other competition or promotion by the Prize winner.

The competition will close on Sunday the 22nd of January at midnight.

The winner will have to respond within a week of being contacted to claim their prize.

To enter please Follow and RT here:

The competition tweet will need to be added after it has been tweeted with the link to this post attached if you cannot see it here please do go to my twitter feed @MelanieMse and RT the pinned tweet.

Good Luck xxx

Last Minute Christmas 2016 Gifts Under £6

Stuck for stocking filler ideas and small gift ideas, well if you are OMG you’ve left it right to the last minute!  Fear not though just think of me as your Fairy Godmother as I am going to help you out with all the mini gift inspiration you will need all from one place HiHouse and best of all you can get next day delivery Monday to Friday so if you order by 2pm you will receive it the next day meaning the panic is over.  Plus as an added bonus if you spend over £20 then you get delivery for just £1.  This post will concentrate on items that are £6 and under but there is a larger range of products from gifts to household items available on the site.

For Mums, Grans and Teens

There is a lovely selection of items that can be bought as stocking fillers or small gifts whether it’s to let mummy, gran or a teen have a little pamper time, glam up for a party or relax in the bath with a gorgeous scented candle burning you will find what you need here.  The selection isn’t enormous but then in a way that works for you as it cuts the time searching through items.

hi1

The Impulse Why Not Cosmetic Bag Gift Set is a bargain at £2.99 considering it is £4.00 in Asda and Wilko.  It includes a pretty pink cosmetics bag and two sprays.

Technic Kissed Lips Set contains 3 lip crayons and 3 lip glosses so at £2.99 it is a fabulous bargain seeing as individual products normally sell for a minimum of £1 each.  The colours look great and will make for a useful gift that will be used and loved.  The lowest price I could find this elsewhere was at Fragrance Direct who have it for £3.99. This gift would also be great for mums, I know I’d love one of these.

The Eden Perfect Pamper Time gift set is idea for busy mums who are generally run off their feet.  Kids if you are reading this why not get dad or another adult to make a cup of tea for mum when she is wearing these and give her a little foot massage, she will really love that and you can score a few brownie points too.  Here it is just £5.99 although Fragrance Direct have it priced as £8.99.  I’d be getting the HiHouse website open if you still need gifts right about now.

Vintage Stocking Fillers (nail varnish) There are two available and are reasonably priced at £1.49 each.  Just to note there are currently just two colours available and there is no option to pick which you would prefer although they are both lovely colours.

Dove Pampering Moments Trio & Washbag is just £2.99 fortunately I was sitting when I saw the price and I double and triple checked it not having believed my eyes.  Even more shocking is that the lowest price I could find it elsewhere was at Wilko for £8.00.  This contains a good sized washbag, a body lotion, bodywash and deodorant.

Starlytes Candle Jar Pomegranate and Pear 18oz smells great and is a great gift as everyone loves candles.  The price is fabulous as it’s only £3.99 .  It seems to be sold out elsewhere including on Amazon where it was being sold for a whooping £14.99.

Chit Chat – Totally Crackers are a great idea for beauty fans.  Each cracker contains a beauty treat and I could quite easily substitute the old style crackers for these.  It’s a shame they don’t have them for men too.  These two crackers come at the shockingly low price of £0.99p so just short of 50p each cracker.  At that price you really can’t go wrong.  I found them over on the Prettylittlething website on offer for £3.00.  Clearly HiHouse is a site that many can’t compete with pricewise.

For Dads, Grandads and Teens

hi2

The Lynx Black Duo Gift Set is a really useful gift for any man in your life.   The duo consists of full sized products; Black Body Spray 150ml and Black Shower Gel 250ml.  These have a subtle fragrance and notes of bergamot, rosemary and cedarwood.  Priced at £3.19 it’s fairly priced and not to expensive.  I did find this at Wilko for £2.50 as they have it on offer at the moment, the normal price was £3.25.
Dove Men +Care Daily Care Duo Gift pack contains a deodorant and shower gel ad costs £3.99.  I did find this for less at Superdrug (on offer for £2.75 normally £4.50).  Again a useful present and a great way for the men in your life to stock up on the essentials to see them through the year.
The Dove Men +Care Daily Care Wash Bag Gift Set makes a lovely inexpensive gift.  It contains the essentials that every male will find useful including face wash, post shave balm and deodorant. It costs just £5.99 and is not too expensive a gift either.  ASOS do these for £8.00.

For Little Girls

hi3

Minions Fluffy 5 Day Set comes with 5 mini shower gels.  These cute little bottles come coloured pink and purple with the cutest little labels.  It’s a lovely little stocking filler and not expensive either at £2.99.  The only place I could find this was ebay priced at £10.99, doubt anyone would be using ebay to buy this then.  These can be individually wrapped if you prefer to keep the fun lasting longer.

The Troll lip balm and topper set will prove to be very popular with little sisters and at £2.99 for 4 lip balms and a cute Princess Poppy topper you can’t go wrong.  I know both my girls would love this as would all their friends.

Minions Fluffy Unicorn Lip Gloss Selection.  Now for starters who can resist unicorns they are sooooo cute!!!!!!  Secondly one can never have too many lip balms as they are a beauty essential and you should always be prepared with one in every handbag and coat pocket.  This is great to stop little ones stealing mummies lip gloss as mummies one looks so boring in comparison plus it doesn’t come with adorable little charms like these do either!  (£2.99 for 4 lip balms).  Available from Gordons Direct for £6.99.  These too can be wrapped individually if you prefer and depending on whether you want to give a pack per child or not.

For Little Boys

hi4

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle 3D 250ml fruit scented bubble bath is not only a useful gift but also a fun one as it can also double up as a toy.  It’s £4.99 and makes a great stocking filler for any turtle fan.  It is much higher elsewhere and the lowest price I found it was at Very for £9.99.

Paw Patrol 3D Bubblebath 150ml is perfect for my little man and I can’t wait to see his face when he opens his gift and see’s Marshall looking back at him.  It’s just the thing for any Paw Patrol fan and costs £4.99.  Not only does it contain bubblebath but it can also be used as a toy after so it’s one of those two in one items that come in very useful.

There are also some great scented candles that are perfect to add a little fragrance to the home including this cherry scented tealights (£0.99p).  So why not pop some of these into your basket too and have your home smelling great when your guests come over.

hi5

As you can see you can find super gifts for all the family quite easily no matter what their age and at an amazing price.  You will make such a great saving on gifts that you could always buy a few extras to bulk up gifts that bit more.  So what are you waiting for get the kettle on and make yourself a tea / coffee then visit the site straight away and save yourself having to sit in traffic for ages followed by fighting through crowds to buy those last minute gifts, simply order them online and then you can squeeze in watching that great boxset you’ve been meaning to see but not had the time  Go on relax a little you’ve earnt it by making a smart shopping choice.  Let HiHouse do all the running around for you, it’s genius and a no brainer.

Want to receive Melanie’s Fab Finds posts once they are live?  Why not subscribe to get all first access to all my recipes,reviews, competitions etc.   I write about a range of topics and also host competitions so please do subscribe to have them delivered straight to your inbox.  Don’t worry I won’t spam you.

https://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=MelaniesFabFinds&loc=en_US

Contains some product samples unless otherwise stated.

A First Bike

Mr Squishy is an active little boy.  This little man gets his energy levels from me so is generally super charged most of the time.  It comes in handy as he can keep up with me although isn’t quite so great when I’m having an off day.  This little Duracell bunny loves to run around, play on his scooter and play on his tricycle whenever he gets the chance.  He has mastered the art of riding his sisters pretty pink scooters hilarious if you compare their size to his and he’s recently learnt to use the pedals on his bike.  At the moment he of course has a teeny weeny little bike (tricycle) to allow for his size but at some stage I shall be looking to upgrade as he grows.  I don’t remember my first bike it was so long ago although I do remember riding a neighbours dog (a golden retriever) once in a while which was pretty fun.  Photos from when I was young are limited so I don’t think I have any of me and my first bike which is a shame and something I hope not to be the case with my little ones.

bike3

My little man loves riding his bike outside and normally he plays with it in the garden but I hope to get out to the park where he can ride it over a larger more open area as I know he will love that.  You can see the concentration on his face when he pedals around and it’s simply adorable.  My only concern is getting him to leave the park as he loves being out and not so much the leaving and coming back home.

I can imagine my little man on a bmx bike when he gets that little bit bigger.  Do you remember those?  I still see these sort of bikes around which were very popular in the 1990’s.  This sort of bike would be great for my little guy being the little speedster and daredevil that he is.

bike1

Having visited Halfords for children’s bikes and also to get my car lights changed when they’ve blown (yes they do that too for a small fee) I thought I would take a look and see what options were available for Mr Squishy.  The bikes start from age 3 and up so he might have to wait a little longer which is fine with me as his little tricycle is just right for the moment.  Halfords have a good range of bikes on their site for boys and girls.  I though these would probably appeal to my little man the most:

bike7

He loves bright colours and these bikes look great and what impressed me even more was this that I read on a banner over on their site.

bike8

Always reassuring when other mums are in total agreement about products for children isn’t it!

From the bikes selected above I think the one that would appeal to Mr Squishy the most at the moment would be the Paw Patrol bike.  He loves watching Paw Patrol on tv and to have a bike with the characters would really put a smile on his face.  Any of these would make a great first bike for children and give them hours of fun outside.  I don’t think children get half as much outside play as I know I did when i was younger so this is perfect to help encourage that.

Many of the bikes are on offer at the moment so if you need a children’s bike be sure to take a look as you could bag yourself some great savings.

Have you guys ever bought or would you buy a bike from Halfords?

This is a collaborative post.

Ferrero Rocher Price Comparison Christmas 2016

I tend to buy Ferrero Rocher each year as a little thank you gift for people either as a small gift or to include as part of a larger gift.  Before I go to make my purchase I do make sure that I do my research before parting with my hard earned cash.  I don’t always use price comparison charts but I do look up local supermarkets of which there is a good variety where I live in London and compare the product I want on each or look to see which I will be passing on a specific day it would be convenient for me to stop off and make a purchase and see which shop had them at the best price.

I did this again this year and though as many of you will also be looking to buy Ferrero Rocher as a gift I would list the prices from the various shops I looked at so you too can see the price differences too.

The one that I compared was the 24 piece box 300g.

christmas2

Morrisons £5.00 (this was an in store price, it says £6.00 online)

I phoned Morrisons to confirm this today 14/12/2016 but I suggest you hurry if you want them for that price in case they do increase it as it did say £5.00 a few days ago on the website.

Tesco £5.50

Sainsburys £5.50

Asda £6.00

Co-operative Food £6.00

Ocado £6.00

I bought 12 boxes so made a pretty good saving (£12), I could go and get another two boxes lol.

Whilst I was looking at the chocolates on the Asda website I noticed someone had done a whoopsy!

Can you spot the mistake?

christmas1

Have fun shopping xxx

Want to receive Melanie’s Fab Finds posts once they are live?  Why not subscribe to get all first access to all my recipes,reviews, competitions etc.   I write about a range of topics and also host competitions so please do subscribe to have them delivered straight to your inbox.  Don’t worry I won’t spam you.

https://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=MelaniesFabFinds&loc=en_US

Cocoba: An Introduction Plus a Giveaway!

I love chocolate what can I say it’s fabulous, but I don’t like all chocolate.  I know, crazy right!  Let me explain.  When you purchase some types of chocolate the quality of the ingredients are not always to the level they should be.  Some companies attempt to cut costs by substituting what should be good quality ingredients which would make a fabulously delicious chocolate for cheaper inferior ingredients thus increasing their profits but creating a product which is in some instances not fit for consumption in my opinion.  Yes I am a harsh critic in some respects but good quality products should be enjoyed by all so when I find good quality products the foodie in me can’t help but tell everyone.  I appreciate some might not agree but then we are all unique and have different tastes and have also experienced different quality products.  In many an instance I am finding that some of the most fabulously delicious chocolates are best purchased online.  One such chocolate is that which you will find over at the Cocoba website.  They believe in creating great quality chocolate products and search the globe for the highest quality cocoa beans and best tasting chocolate (how amazing does that sound!!!!).

cocoba2

Cocoba opened their first cafe in Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent in 2014 and there you can enjoy their own Cocoba coffee blend, loose leaf teas, and iced drinks, along with their selection of freshly made baguettes, sandwiches, soups, paninis and salads, delicious pastries, cakes, slices, or one of their 100 chocolate products including chocolate bars (all made in store), truffles, pralines and more.  Is your mouth watering yet?

Cocoba’s hot chocolates are made from real Belgian chocolate that is slowly melted.  For those that can’t get to their store fear not, you can also recreate the experience at home, using their Signature Hot Chocolate flakes, or Hot Chocolate Spoons.

I really need to get myself to their store sometime because they also have a selection of Cocoba signature desserts, including a chocolate pizza, a brand new Chocolate Waffle menu, and warm chocolate cookie dough with ice-cream, plus an ice-cream and frozen yoghurt station with over 16 toppings to choose from!

It really does sound like my idea of heaven.  But again not everyone will get the chance to try these if they are not located close enough to get there but fear not these guys also make some of the most deliciously divine chocolate you could ever try and these and many more products can be found over on their site https://www.cocobachocolate.com/ . There you will find products including drinking chocolate, chocolate spoons, chocolate bars, truffles, tea, flavoured syrup and more.  There is even a Chocolate Collection Box monthly subscription that costs £19.95 for a month, less then many of us chocoholics spend on chocolate and containing some scrummy treats.

The Chocolate Collection box monthly subscription contains:

cocoba1

A selection of truffles and pralines

Handmade chocolate bars

Decadent drinking chocolate

There are 3 of these boxes available at the moment; the Cocoba collection box, milk chocolate collection box and the dark chocolate collection box.  There is also a hot chocolate spoon subscription box which is going to help see many of us through the winter months and I am sure it is amazing.

Subscriptions are available for 1,3,6 or 12 months.

I was sent one of the chocolate box subscriptions to try and here is how I got on.

What was in my box:

A guide clearly labelling each type of chocolate.

Assorted Truffles & Pralines x 2 different types

Pack 1 (contains 3 types)

Caramel Truffle

A lovely milk chocolate with a gorgeous smooth caramel centre.

Cappuccino Truffle

A yummy thick melt in the mouth dark chocolate ganache encased in a gorgeous rich dark chocolate.  Coffee lovers beware one bite and you’ll be hooked.

Tipsy Run Truffle

Chocolate, cream and rum are combined to create a divine ganache which is enrobed in dark chocolate.  I do love adding rum to alcohol as it works very well and this is a great example of how it should be done.

Pack 2 (contains 3 types)

Grenoble Praline

This comprises of a delicious walnut praline in a lovely thick milk chocolate coating.  Not a chocolate that you will come across often but one that you will simply adore.

The Marzipan

What can I say I do love marzipan and these guys really do it justice.  The addition of the chocolate is the cherry on the cake, yum!

White Nougatine

There were two of these in the pack but interestingly the both vanished.  I suspect my girls may have had something to do with that when I went to answer the phone.  The moral of the story, don’t leave chocolate unattended at my house there are lots of little and also big hands that will snatch it up before you realise its gone.

Extra Smooth Milk Chocolate (small bar)

Mr Squishy got wind that there was chocolate and found that this bar was just the right size for him, he grabbed it and hid under the table and didn’t come out until it had gone.  The only tale tale signs were that his hands, face and top had a good coating of chocolate, somehow it even made it into his hair too.  Anyone for a chocolate coated toddler?

Salted Toffee Truffles

Dusted with cocoa for a touch more flavour and because it looks pretty, these smooth, thick, creamy, velvety truffles melt slowly on the tongue.  You will be in heaven when you eat these with the contrasting texture of crunchy toffee pieces and the addition of the sea salt.  It is hardly surprising this is their best selling product, the truffles are wonderful.

Milk Chocolate Spoon

This has been hidden for me to enjoy over Christmas, ssssshhhhh don’t tell anyone or my little troop of chocoholics will hunt it down and eat it off the wooden spoon.

Mint Crunch Dark Chocolate (bar)

This is a 71% dark chocolate (nice and rich) which has been infused with organic peppermint oil and also has a sprinkling of mint crunch.  If you love good dark chocolate and mint you will love this bar, it’s simply exquisite.

cocoba3

Caramel Sea Salt Milk Chocolate (bar)

This yummy silky smooth caramel is sprinkled with sea salt to give a delicious contrast between salty and sweet.  I was lucky to get a piece of this.  I am strongly considering hiding my chocolate review products in someone else’s house although I’m not sure who I can trust to look after it and not eat it lol.

44% Venezuela Origin Chocolate

This is a lovely simple chocolate button like no other, the rich creamy chocolate melts gently on the tongue.  This isn’t bulked up with rubbish instead it contains a whole 44% of cocoa solids unlike many inferior quality products.  Those that haven’t had the opportunity to experience this quality of chocolate before may mistake the flavour of this for dark chocolate.

Further information

The expiry dates on the items included in the box varied from 4 months 15 months although whether such a subscription box will last in my house for more than a few days is questionable with the number of chocoholics here.  It’s crazy I actually have to hide chocolate and hope no one finds it.  Even chocolate gifts for others are not safe which can at times be a nuisance.  My husband is the worst of all having eaten gifts I have bought and with me discovering last minute it can be very frustrating.  The chocolate as you saw was nicely presented with simple, clearly labelled packaging.  There is a fair amount of chocolate in the box that should keep most happy for a fair few weeks depending on their rate of chocolate consumption and of course the number of chocoholics living in the household.  As this chocolate is of a higher quality you might find that your craving is satisfied far quicker and you don’t need to consume quite so much I know I do.  That’s the beauty of having better quality items your weight increase is far less (yaaaaayyyy) and also the health benefit is greater.  Don’t forget chocolate contains antioxidants which as we all know causes ageing and various ailments, it also triggers the release of endorphins making you feel good.  There are numerous benefits of eating chocolate but of course the quality of the chocolate will influence this greatly, stick to good quality and you can’t go wrong.  The products are well priced, I did look at a leading competition and these guys charge less so keep that in mind next time you are looking to buy chocolate for yourself or as a gift.

So now for a really exciting announcement, the generous guys at Cocoba have said that I can giveaway one of their 1 month subscription boxes away to a lucky reader, it could be you!!!!

Entry is super easy just enter via the rafflecopter form.

Instructions if needed can be found here:

http://melaniesfabfinds.co.uk/competitions/how-to-enter-rafflecopter-competitions/

Not all of the entry options are compulsory but the more you do the more entries you will gain.

Look out for the daily entry options for extra entries.

Likes on Facebook are NOT compulsory but are very much appreciated plus it will ensure you don’t miss great posts, freebies and competitions.

Want to receive Melanie’s Fab Finds posts once they are live?  Why not subscribe to get all first access to all my recipes,reviews, competitions etc.   I write about a range of topics and also host competitions so please do subscribe to have them delivered straight to your inbox.  Don’t worry I won’t spam you.

https://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=MelaniesFabFinds&loc=en_US

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

November Fab Finds

Now that November is truly over and well are well into December I am going to tell you all about the Fab Finds that I came across last month.  In my Fab Finds features I will include products that I have either come across when out and about shopping, samples of items that I have tried and loved and also products that I have been sent for consideration that I have liked.  My first every Fab Finds feature included some items that I discovered in September that I really liked, October was super busy for me and I didn’t find anything particularly Fab so I skipped that month, there is no point wasting anyone’s time telling you about pointless items now is there.

This month my Fab Finds post seems to have been taken over by items for foodies.

One of the items that I was introduced to in November which I found handy was a healthy Italian alternative to sweets.  My girls love sweets and when they get them from anywhere be it birthdays at school where they get a sweet of some kind, birthday parties, their grans, friends or uncles houses they will secretly squirrel it away somewhere in their bedroom out of my sight.  I know they do this as I find sweets lying around and sweet wrappers carelessly disposed of on the floor next to the bin (come on kids really, you somehow missed the bin by 2cm).  I find that if a sweet craving is hijacked by a healthier sweet item being introduced such as whole pieces of fruit – not always a child’s first choice or something like dried fruit then the craving is satisfied reducing the need for sugar and rummaging through their room to find their hidden sweets when mummy isn’t looking.

Noberasco the Italian masters of dried fruit have a selection of fruit cubes which can be found at the Ciao Gusto Italian Shop on Ocado.  They have a range of flavours including Plum,  ‘Red Fruits’, Apricot and Pear.  The Fruttime packs are great for adding to lunchboxes and also for adults wanting a convenient snack that doesn’t include the hydrogenated fats and cereals that appear in so many snacks these days.  The products do not contain pectin, colours, gelatinizing agents, apple juice, added sugar, artificial flavour or preservatives just 100% fruit.  The pouches are a handy size making them easy to transport and they are resealable so you don’t need to finish the whole pack in one go.  Just a reminder though that although they do not contain added sugar the product will contain natural sugars from the ripe fruits used and also will not have the fibre that comes with the fruit.  I have been using these as an addition to whole fruit, it’s great as an after school snack on the way home or on the way to the tutors.

novfab2016

Another item that I thought was rather good especially for children was Puds in a Mug.  These are a recent addition to the Dr Oetker range.  There are times where the little ones or I get a craving for cake and and nothing else will do.  Dr Oetker has 3 products in this range:

Dr. Oetker Pud in a Mug Sponge Puds are available in Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Tesco and Co-op.

Dr. Oetker Pud in a Mug Velvety Desserts are available in Asda.

The MRRP is £0.79.

I made tried the rich chocolate dessert which really did have a rich chocolate flavour.  Although not the same as home made it helps when you need cake straight away and is not bad at all when eaten whilst still hot with vanilla ice cream.  It’s super easy to make, you simply add milk and microwave.

novfab20161

I use coconut milk quite regularly and recently I came across a new coconut milk pouch in Asda.  The pouch contains 200ml of coconut milk where as the tins have 400ml.  Normally I use tins and reduce the milk as it isn’t always thick enough and there is a touch too much so the pouches make a fabulous alternative, these simply need pouring over the food you have cooked and heating through which takes a matter of minutes and adds a gorgeous creamy coconut flavour to your dish.  The coconut content is high too, this is one of the better quality products on the market as it contains 60% coconut extract where as many other have less and don’t taste as good.  I am looking forward to experimenting with some more vegetable pasta dishes so keep your eyes peeled for some yummy recipes coming soon.  This is high in fats but should be fine when eaten as part of a balanced diet.  In many instances you will be combining it with vegetable which will contain fibre and will actually trap some of the fats within the fibre strands helping to eliminate some of them from the body.

novfab20162

Have you discovered anything Fab recently that you would love to spread the word about?

Top 5 Tips for Black Friday Shopping – Written for Kiss FM’s Melvin Odoom

It’s Black Friday and I was listening to Kiss FM as I drove back home after the school run and a quick supermarket visit.  Melvin Odoom came on to tell everyone his top tips for Black Friday savings which I must admit was a bit disappointing.  Melvin seriously – just get out there doesn’t cut it so I have decided to write a quick post with my top 5 tips for those like me that felt they needed a bit more guidance, Melvin sweetheart, you can pay me later.  Let’s hope the lovely Pandora on Kiss will read this out for everyone.

Tip 1

Prioritise, you need to decide the main thing you are after to avoid being disappointed and distracted by all the deals that you come across ooooo look the gift set I wanted is on offer – see it’s easily done!  You have more rights if you buy online than instore so it may be better in some cases to shop from home and not to mention safer.

Tip 2 

Compare discounted prices – they may be cheaper elsewhere, make sure you check for warranty length and delivery charges.  Also see if you can get store points with your purchase for an extra bonus.  Keep in mind some stores will price match when deciding where to buy from but they will need proof of prices so keep a hold of ads.

Tip 3

Check the terms and conditions.  It’s easy to be swept up in the moment and get a little carried away buying items on offer but check what the refund policy is before buying that lime green pair of boots, heaven forbid they clash with your electric pink body con dress and you can’t change or exchange them!

Tip 4

Make sure your phone is full charged so you can priced check whilst in stores.  You don’t want to hear a friend bought the same item for much less.

Tip 5

Shop in a team.  It’s more fun with friends anyway so if you are braving it and heading to the shops you can spilt up and halve third, quarter etc. the work of getting the items you are all after.  Kids don’t count and will only slow you done so leave them with a responsible adult.

dsc02437

Don’t forget if you are buying Christmas presents ask for a gift receipt.  Shops are issuing them I should know I got some from House of Fraser a few weeks back during a mini spending spree.

Have fun!

I hope you all find some great bargains.

I write about a range of topics and also host competitions so please do subscribe to have them delivered straight to your inbox.  Don’t worry I won’t spam you.

https://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=MelaniesFabFinds&loc=en_US